Another PTI member showed dissent from the leadership on Friday alleging that they were “ignoring” Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and demanded that top cabinet members, including the prime minister himself, be placed on the Exit Control List (ECL).
It was the second incident of defiance within the party in as many days as a day ago, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak reacted angrily in the face of Prime Minister Imran Khan in a meeting in Islamabad.
This time it was Noor Alam Khan who assailed the government on the floor of the National Assembly.
“Members who occupy the first three rows are the main culprits of the chaos in the country, so put their names on ECL and Pakistan will survive,” Noor said, pointing towards the front rows of the treasury benches, where the prime minister was also sitting as leader of the house.
Like the defence minister a day earlier, the ruling party MNA also raised the issue of the ban on new gas connections in KP, particularly the provincial capital of Peshawar.
“It seems that Peshawar is not a district of this country, but Mianwali and Swat are,” the MNA from NA-27 said comparing his hometown to the prime minister’s constituency.
He said that his constituents were among those who had been deprived of basic facilities such as gas and electricity. “In our districts there is no gas, no electricity,” he said.
Without naming anyone in the government, Noor asked the rulers to step out of their luxurious cocoons and heed the miseries of the people. “Kindly get out of your aircraft, your Land Cruisers and BMWs and see the [miserable] condition of the people,” he said.
Meanwhile, the opposition claimed that the ruling PTI was facing disintegration. “The process of collapse within the PTI has started,” said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal in a TV interview on Friday.
The vocal PTI leader from Peshawar passed remarks similar to what the defence minister had reportedly said in a meeting of the ruling alliance’s parliamentary party on Thursday when he said: “Am I not a Pakistani, am I only here to cast my vote?”
Interestingly, the defence minister had contended that the people of KP were not even given basic facilities and a ban had been imposed on new gas connections in the province. He had also warned that he would not vote for the PM if the problems of his province were not resolved. At this, PM Imran had reportedly asked Khattak not to “blackmail” him.
On Friday, another PTI leader, Sher Akbar Khan from Buner, raised the issue of excessive billing and demanded the withdrawal of fuel adjustment charges in Malakand Division.
He said the former tribal areas and Malakand Division had been declared tax-free zones, but people of these areas were compelled to several different taxes.
North Waziristan MNA Mohsin Dawar said the people of his constituency and many nearby areas were crying out for gas, but parliament was being fooled by the government over the quantum of gas given to KP.
He claimed that the gas produced in KP province was not being supplied to its residents, rather it was going to citizens in other parts of the country.